Now onto the main event. Dinner. The crew have been hard at it all day long and now they are ready for a good hearty meal. Remember, they are growing boys and girls and need feeding well. Beware, the skinniest little Jackaroo may well be your biggest eater.
Not sure what the hell I am talking about… go back and check out the rest of this series:
Part 1 – So you want to be a cook
Part 2 – Breakfast
Part 3 – Savoury Smoko
Part 4 – Sweet Smoko
Part 5 – Lunch
I have created a list of station meal ideas to take the thinking out of your everyday. It is so hard trying to think what to cook day after day. I find doing up a weekly meal plan helps, then you don’t have to worry about it and you know what meat you need to get out of the freezer the night before.
There are 20 Beef Dishes here – we are all about our beef! So here is your master list if you will…
Get your free PDF Printable here: Dinner List 20 ways to cook beef
So that little list should get you out of trouble for a while. I have covered the staples. These are the meals you should be serving up regularly. The “other” dishes can be weaved in amongst them each week. This will allow variety yet still feed those hard working cattlemen and women well. Now, I know every kitchen is a little bit different but this how my menu would ook, here is three weeks worth of meals…
Get your free PDF printable here: Meal Plan Template
Ok, we are really getting somewhere, you can print out these plans or use these as a guide, but hopefully they should save you from the daily “what should we have for dinner” question.
I like to make corned beef or roast beef at the start of the week so I can cook extra to have as cold meat for the week for lunches. It is also great to have a good hearty meal to start the week if the crew have been at a campdraft eating crappy food for 3 days straight or perhaps sucked back too many beers at the pub on the weekend. Oh to be young!
As you can see Friday’s is usually a spag bol/lasagne day. If you get in a little routine it really does make things easy. But you can also mix it up adding different things into the mix on the other days. I try not to have rice, pasta, rice dishes in a row, weave them in amongst the staple dishes.
Make sure you have plenty of food for the hungry hoards. It is better to have too much than not enough. Left overs are wonderful for lunch the next day if the crew are in.
You will get the feel for how much you need to cook, but at the beginning you will need to do the maths. Figure out how many potatoes you will need for a roast meal etc. I usually allow one potato per person and maybe a few extra for good luck. Not everyone is going to have one whole potato but others may have more than this so it evens out. It is really a guessing game until you figure out how much each person eats.
Serving & Presentation
You want to make sure your meals are presentable. Don’t just slap it out without a care in the world. You need to add a dash of love to your dishes. Take pride in your meals and your presentation, if it doesn’t look appealing no one is going to want to eat it, are they!
The meal needs to be nice and hot. We have a bain marie and I tell you what, it is my favourite thing in the kitchen. I would be lost without it. Makes life so much easier. Dinner is at 7pm here. When I am cooking I like to be nice and organised. I hate feeing rushed and short on time. Now because we have the bain marie I am able to have dinner in there ready to go by 6-6:30pm. Then if I need to make gravy or have forgotten something I still have time. I also have time then to wash the dishes and clean up so it is not such a huge job after dinner, or even just sit down, relax and have a glass of wine. There is nothing worse than still being in that kitchen scrubbing pots and pans at 8pm.
Now if you aren’t lucky enough to have a bain marie you need to figure out a way to keep your dishes warm – either in the oven or making sure they will be ready to serve at 7pm. This means you can’t be as organised (as I like to be)
Recipe of the Week
I usually just fry up the marinated meat in a frying pan or on the hotplate then just pour the sauce over it. But the oven works just as well.
And it just wouldn’t be right if I didn’t link to my all time favourite meal…. now it may not really be a station meal, but it is so bloody good. You could serve it on a weekend when there are not many people on the station as a special little treat or great to serve when the bosses come to visit. So easy to prepare and it is always a hit:
Emma’s Hot Steak & Crunchy Potato Salad
So there you have it my friends, have I nailed it or failed it? How does your station kitchen operate? Am I way off or are you pretty similar?
Oh and just remember this: You’re in cattle country now, EAT MORE BEEF YOU BASTARDS!
What are your go to staple meals
Do you think this post will help out the Station Cook?
Plans for the weekend?